Saturday, April 13, 2024

Al-Shifa Medical Complex Witnesses One of the Largest Massacres in Palestinian History: Euro-Med Monitor

Though the exact number of casualties from the atrocity is still unknown, preliminary reports suggest that over 1,500 Palestinians have been killed, injured, or are reported missing as a result of the massacre at Al-Shifa, with women and children making up half of the casualties, Human rights group Euro-Med Monitor said in a statement on Monday

Israel’s army has said more than “500 suspects” were detained during its siege of Al-Shifa Hospital.

The Geneva-based group said it can confirm from its initial investigation and testimonies that hundreds of dead bodies, including some burned, and others with their heads and limbs severed, have been discovered both inside Al-Shifa Medical Complex and in the hospital’s surrounding area.

The Gaza government’s media office said that more than 400 Palestinians have been killed in the attack.

The massacre claimed the lives of at least 22 patients who were killed in their hospital beds during the Israeli siege of the Medical Complex, amid the willful deprivation of their access to food, medical care, and supplies, WHO stated.

Israel’s army also purposefully prevented relief teams and representatives of international organisations from entering Al-Shifa to carry out humanitarian missions or evacuations, plus purposefully cleared the Complex of all working personnel—particularly medical personnel—either by summary execution or forced displacement or arrest. The whereabouts of some of these individuals are still unknown.

Al-Shifa Medical Complex is currently out of service due to the Israeli army bombing and setting fire to every one of its buildings, including the mortuary and all internal and external courtyards and corridors. 

“The attack on Al-Shifa Medical Complex is the most visible aspect yet of Israel’s systematic and carefully-crafted plan to destroy and besiege the Gaza Strip’s health sector, bring it to the brink of collapse, and deny the Palestinian population any chance at survival or medical care, or shelter,” the report said. 

Members of the Israeli army forced more than 25,000 Palestinian civilians to evacuate their homes in the vicinity of Al-Shifa Medical Complex. These forced evacuations occurred after Israel committed horrendous crimes against local families, including killing, direct targeting, besieging, and starving them, as well as arbitrary arrests and destroying and burning homes and civilian objects.

According to initial estimates, the Israeli army demolished and set ablaze over 1,200 housing units in the vicinity of Al-Shifa Medical Complex.

At dawn on Monday, the Israeli soldiers and vehicles withdrew from the Medical Complex, which is considered the largest medical facility in the Gaza Strip. The Complex housed three specialised hospitals with a combined clinical capacity of 800 beds: the Surgery Hospital, the Internal Medicine Hospital, and the Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital.

Built on a 42,000-square-metre plot, the Complex housed multiple buildings, some with multiple stories, and provided coverage for the Gaza Governorate and the Gaza Strip as a whole.

“The massacre at Al-Shifa Medical Complex and the systematic and widespread targeting of civilians and civilian objects, i.e. the targeting of what is left of the health system in the Gaza Strip, killing and putting thousands of sick and injured civilians, displaced families, medical teams, and journalists at risk of being directly targeted, depriving the population of its civilian status and severing families from one another. These crimes are further proof of the genocide that Israel has been committing against the Palestinian people in the Strip for the past six months,” it added.

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